Reds utility man Kristopher Negron’s season is over due to a torn labrum and fractured scapula in his left shoulder, tweets C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Negron suffered the injury whilst making a spectacular diving catch in left field and was in good spirits about the injury, joking with Rosecrans (Twitter link), “At least it was on a pretty sweet play.” (It was indeed quite a nice grab, as can be seen here.) The versatile Negron’s season will come to an end with a disappointing .140/.238/.161 batting line in 107 plate appearances, though he was much more impressive in 2014 when he slashed .271/.331/.479 in 158 PAs.
A few more notes from the game’s Central divisions…
- The Cubs project to see an attendance increase of roughly 275,000 fans over their 2014 number, reports Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. That significant spike in fans — due largely to the team’s much-improved on-field results — could result in a substantial payroll increase. As Wittenmyer notes, conservative estimates peg the attendance increase at an extra $20.6MM in revenue, and while perhaps not all of that money will go directly into payroll, the boost could be enough for the Cubs to make a serious run at elite free agents such as David Price and Zack Greinke.
- Former Cubs farmhand Mike Olt, now with the White Sox after being claimed off waivers, will see plenty of playing time down the stretch, writes Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago. “He’ll probably get the majority of that time as we go through the rest of September, depending on matchups and things like that,” manager Robin Ventura tells Hayes. “We’ll be able to mix and match with him in there, but I would say he would get the majority of it.” Hayes notes that the ChiSox lack a definitive answer at third base in 2016 and will as such give Olt a chance to prove that he’s worthy of that distinction. Formerly a Top 50 prospect in his days with the Rangers, Olt has a lifetime .263/.361/.486 batting line in the minors. He’s battled vision problems and other injuries in the past and has always been strikeout prone, however, all of which have contributed to considerable struggles in the Major Leagues.
- The White Sox have seen rapid improvement in former No. 3 overall pick Carlos Rodon, writes ESPN Chicago’s Doug Padilla. Ventura tells Padilla that Rodon had a hard time accepting some of the struggles he had early in the season, but he’s come away better off for it. “He took the not-pitching-well part tough, and I think he also was able to put it behind him and come back,” said Ventura. “I think deep down, it’s something he just has. That’s something he can hold onto and know that he can overcome things. When you have that, there’s something you have that nobody can take away from you.” Rodon has a 3.94 ERA with 9.4 K/9, 4.7 BB/9 and a 47.3 percent ground-ball rate in 125 2/3 innings this season, but he’s been much better of late. In his past six starts he has a 1.76 ERA with a 41-to-15 K/BB ratio and a 52 percent ground-ball rate in 41 innings. Rodon told Padilla that he’s enjoying the grind of a 162-game season, and Padilla notes that the talented rookie should finish with more than 150 innings between the Majors and minors this season.
And the Cardinals, who see attendance at over 3 million year in and year out, sit with a lower payroll. If Cubs sign Greinke the Cardinals better sign Price and pick up the option on Jaime…
Wainwright, Price, Jaime, Wacha, Martinez
Except the Cardinals don’t have a lower payroll than the Cubs. Not this year, not last year…
Reference I used for 2015:
It’s close, but the main takeaway is that the Cubs will INCREASE their payroll by $20mm and then the Cardinals will be over $20mm behind if they sit, even though their attendance numbers are higher and project to continue to be higher year over year.
But they are still both small fries compared to the Dodgers… good lord.
The Cards have a more than a couple things to worry about over the offseason as well. Their payroll isn’t going to just stay the same.
Contracts include the fact that Matt Carpenter will make more and more each season until 2020. He is only making $3.5 mil this year. Next season he will make $6.25, and by 2020 he will make $18.5 mil with a $2 million club buyout.
Then they have to worry about Randy Choate, Peter Bourjos, Steve Cishek, Tony Cruz, Randal Grichuk, The fact Garcia will make over $2 million more than this season…
Then what are they going to do to fill the gap of Heyward? Resign him? That would be a HUGE commitment, and many analysts thing the Cards may take a stab at it… and if they don’t they will STILL need to pick up a hefty contract on someone else. He has been a huge catalyst this year.. good luck without him or another big name next season. Picking him up would just about be as big as the Cubs signing a top pitcher. Maybe not QUITE as much, but still a very large investment.
Then there is the negotiations with Jay, Kozma, Lackey, Moss, Pham, Piscotty, Reynolds, Rosenthal, Siegrist, Villanueva, Wacha, and Wong.
If they let some of the guys go it will either be because they want to upgrade, or plan to fill in the gap another way.
The Cards are at a crossroads where they need to make some large decisions and decide whether or not to open the pocket book up or begin to rebuild in the near future (1-3 years).
I would much rather be in the position the Cubs are in at this point in time. The Cardinals have had a great run, but every team needs to restock and rebuild after a long run. Look at the 90’s Cards. That time is quickly approaching again.
Give Matt Carpenter any thing short of PujasPujas money he goes as Cardnals goes the only Cardinal I would want on the Cubs next year but the red Birds will still be tough if they only sign half of what’s mentioned